Start transformation… the first steps.

As an “old school” tester …

I was really lost, when I started in an agile environment.
Now I want to share how I started, what steps I had to go and where I am now.

So… Many years ago I did my first testing steps in a waterfall project.
I really enjoyed my work, with test case execution, analysing use cases,  test case design and finding bugs.Wasserfall-1-03
Usually not in that order, but sometimes exactly in this order.
As many of you may know, one problem in a waterfall project is if a bug was found it brings a lot of problems with it.
Change requests, hot fixes, new releases and the milestone
might be in danger. And finding bugs is just a matter of time.

After thirteen month my project ended and a new door opened.
At this point of time I was a consultant and as every consultant you have to be open minded for everything new.
After a potential customer asked me for an interview they told me that they are doing SCRUM and using the V-Model.
What the … ?! SCRUM? V-Model?
Okay… So I prepared myself with the ISTQB book and Wikipedia. I adapted SCRUM into the V-Model and went to the customer.  During the interview I was talking about traceability, validation and verification and combined it with sprints.
In the end, they hired me…

First contact to the agile world …

Forgetting all known
After I learned and started testing in waterfall projects, I had to forget everything I have learned. What a fun. I am always good in forgetting things. I mean the real important things.
Everything else stays in my brain.

The background
So I came to that company which develops software and devices for the regulated US market.
The tricky part for products in the regulated market, especially in US, you have to get an approval by the FDA.
This means in sum: Documentation, documentation, documentation, traceability, traceability and traceability.

The team
I began in a team with two additional tester and a test manager but she was scrum master as well. We had one project manager, one specialist for that biological part, one product owner and if I remember correctly 15 developers. Seven or eight of them were placed in India and coordinated by the product manager on-site.
If you have any experience with scrum you may noticed that something is wrong here… But let’s check this later.

How did I start testing in an agile project

Because we were in the middle of a sprint when I started there the test manager lady gave me a bunch of test cases. Well written and soooo detailed. A defined test case language explained [button] |tab| and “text”. Every test case could be executed by a monkey. There was a huge defined input and a bigger expected behavior – for each single step.
Every test case started with:

Enter “user name” into “User name”.
Enter “password” into “Password”.
[Log in]

In the beginning I started with those test cases and it was helpful to learn the software.
I didn’t ask if it’s right or wrong.

Sprint Planning
Then we had our first common planning. Wuhu, let agile begin!
We were all together in a huge conference room and the product owner explained the developers what they have to do.
After those four hours where over, the developers decided who did what and split their work.
We tester had to decide which “feature” we wanted to test and went to the corresponding developers. It was a fun to sit with the developers, thinking about what and how to change – how to document and thinking about software. I was never that near to development.
When Developers thought about time estimation – we tester sit together and time boxed our time onto the features. In the afternoon the whole team met again and we proudly present out time estimation….

And this we did all four weeks. In between the planning, we were working scrumish like this:V-model_Test_levels_mapping
We combined the V-Model with the sprints.
We started with a bunch of documentation. Design documentation, error handling, GUI and dynamic behavior. We had ha long review session and when implementation finialy started we tester started with writing test cases. Every single mentioned word had a test case. OK – that’s pushing it a bit but we really tested nearly everything. Of course, manual, because there was no time for automation. Maybe some developer had automated unit tests, but who cared about developer tests. We were the tester and had to define and execute test cases.

I did this nearly three years. So am I now an agile expert?


Welcome to my Geekbook

Since I started my worklife, many thing had happen.
To me, to the world to everything and everyone.

If you ever asked yourself, what this agile is or how other people handle this
I hope I will be able to help you a bit, with my pain and experience I made within the last years.

Agile is not that easy but if you are really interested and open minded, one day will come and you never want to change the way you do.